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Making a Difference: Roy Clem

GED® Solutions

Roy Clem recently stepped up Alabama Public Television’s role in adult education with the help of KET’s Fast Forward online learning system.

Roy Clem has been around.

From Tombstone, Ariz., to Denver, Colo., to Birmingham, Ala., the executive director of Alabama Public Television has made his home all across the United States.

Roy Clem

As a child, he accompanied his mother as she changed locales whenever the spirit moved her. Later, he went to college to decide what spirit moved him and launched a series of careers that brought him into contact with all walks of life.

TV reporter. Cop. Cattle and sheep rancher. College professor.

All that experience, Clem says, culminated in his decision to enter the world of public television and use its unique position to reach and teach people, whatever their age, need, or background.

“Public television offers such a great opportunity. The real sense of collaboration and the absolute mission-driven nature of public television makes it special,” he said.

“A couple of years ago, it became pretty clear to me that there’s a problem with the number of adults in Alabama who don’t have GEDs,” he said.

“We want to keep kids in high school so that they can get their high school diploma,” he continued. “But I was worried about all those kids and all those people who had already fallen through the cracks. What can we do for them? How can we help them?”

To that end, Clem recently stepped up Alabama Public Television’s role in adult education with the help of KET’s Fast Forward online learning system.

KET Fast Forward is aligned to national academic and college/career readiness standards, and is designed to help adult learners prepare for high school equivalency assessments offered by GED Testing Service®, among others.

This flexible system can be used in adult education centers and by adults studying independently.

“It’s a terrific program and it’s got a great track record,” Clem notes. “We worked closely with the Education Division folks at KET, and I just can’t say enough about how helpful they are and how grateful we are that we are bringing this wonderful program into our state.”

From his experience as a police officer and detective, Clem clearly sees how Fast Forward can be used to serve prison populations.

“As a former law enforcement officer, so many times I encountered people who wound up going to prison because they were a victim of their circumstances, and they really didn’t have anyone there to help them,” he said.

“If we can help folks in prison get a high-school diploma and get some additional training, I really think we can have an impact on the recidivism rate and help change people’s lives. And if we can get them their GEDs before they’re ever involved in trouble, we’re going to be able to change lives that way as well.”

Clem also believes using Fast Forward in tandem with other educational resources can have an impact on the poverty level in Alabama, saying that multi-generational poverty can be broken by working together with young people and their parents.

Alabama Public Television has utilized other KET GED resources in the past, Clem notes, but he is excited about how Fast Forward has embraced current technology and has built-in flexibility.

“Fast Forward is a real natural. It’s the type of program that can easily change with the times. We live in a digital world now where virtually everybody thinks in terms of mobile phones, tablets — they think with a digital mindset,” he said.

“And that’s why Fast Forward is such a good solution. It allows people to learn at any hour, any day, any time that they are able to get online and work with it.”

Roy Clem recently stepped up Alabama Public Television’s role in adult education with the help of KET’s Fast Forward online learning system.